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Child Sensitive Livelihoods

For too many children, poverty is a severe and constant constraint, limiting what they can achieve and their potential in life. When children grow up in extreme poverty, they are more likely to become malnourished, get sick and to work in dangerous or exploitative conditions. They are less likely to complete school. Save the Children seeks to change the difficult circumstances facing children; this includes ongoing work in hunger, livelihoods and food security, as well as humanitarian interventions aimed at rebuilding family productive capacity and measures to increase the family’s economic resilience through earned income. By helping parents and other caregivers to improve their economic well-being, we are able to empower them to make a real and lasting change in children’s lives. The efforts are focused on maximising benefits and avoiding harms for the most deprived girls and boys at all ages.

Interventions by Save the Children include micro-plans for new family enterprises and the provision of skills training and small amounts of start-up capital, credit and productive assets for food production and income-earning activities. Examples of productive assets could be livestock, seeds and equipment, as well as skills in small business development. The aim is to expand production for basic livelihood and to protect or recover household production during and after crisis, with a focus on strengthening food security. Together with other approaches to micro-finance, such as local credit and savings groups, such programmes aim at supporting families to find viable pathways out of poverty in ways that produce verified benefits for children, survival, growth, learning and protection. Social mobilization, behavioural change and educational activities may form an integral part of these programmes, in order to empower parents/carers and to help break the inter-generational transmission of poverty.

Photo: Stuart Sia/Save the Children

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